GromSearch hits the waves

Soli Bailey in action.
Soli Bailey in action. Trevor Veale

THE second event of the Rip Curl GromSearch series presented by Snickers gets underway at Macaulays Beach today.

GromSearch is the only national junior series for surfers aged 16 years and under, with the Coffs event providing Australia's best juniors with a golden opportunity to lock in a second result and move to the front of the 2009-10 National Ratings.

With a solid 140-person entry field over the three divisions of 16s, 14s and 12s, competition will be tight leading up to the finals spots next Saturday.

The 2008 under-16 girls' winner Rachel Campbell returns and has already been allocated a berth in round two, accompanied by closest rivals Ellie-Jean Coffey and Codie Klein.

In under-16 boys, round one winner from Jan Juc, Connor O'Leary, has been top-seeded and will kick off his campaign in heat one of round two.

Other second round nominees include Jack Scollard, Cooper Chapman, Rory Jenkins, Niki Hoskin and Soli Bailey.

There's a quiet tip around that Bailey is a surfer to follow after showing huge promise while contesting the under-14 division, here in 2008.

All winners of the 16s division get an invite to Bell's for the National final and following on from last year, the highest-placed non-event winner on the GromSearch ratings will also get an invite.

Eventual ratings winners of the 14s divisions will get a two board quiver from one of Rip Curl's leading shapers

Local representatives from the region include Cody McCabe (Coffs Harbour), Leo Schneider (Sawtell), Casper Ettelson (Macksville), Mark Merrikin (Woolgoolga) and Fiona Casey (South West Rocks) who will all be trying to resist the invasion and keep the title on home soil.

The ever-popular Snickers Expression Sessions will be run every day with prizes and awards for notable performances from all age groups. Depending on weather and surf conditions, the event will be mobile with Macaulays, Park Beach, Diggers and Boambee all possible locations.

Event information is available each day from 6.45am on the Surfing NSW Event Hotline (0458 247 212) with regular updates on the Surfing Australia website.

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